R.I. student group shows defiance with scholarship for
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BRISTOL, R.I. - A student group at Roger Williams University
is offering a new scholarship for which only white students are eligible, a move
they say is designed to protest affirmative action.
The application for the $250 award requires an essay on “why you are proud of
your white heritage” and a recent picture to “confirm whiteness.”
“Evidence of bleaching will disqualify applicants,” says the application, issued
by the university’s College Republicans.
Jason Mattera, 20, who is president of the College Republicans, said the group
is parodying minority scholarships.
“We think that if you want to treat someone according to character and how well
they achieve academically, then skin color shouldn’t really be an option,” he
said. “Many people think that coming from a white background you’re
automatically privileged, you’re automatically rich and your parents pay full
tuition. That’s just not the case.”
The stunt has angered some at the university, but the administration is staying
out of the fray. The provost said it’s the group’s initiative and not endorsed
by the school.
Mattera, of Puerto Rican descent, has a $5,000 scholarship open only to a
minority group. “No matter what my ethnicity is, I’m making a statement that
scholarships should be based on merit and need,” he told the Providence Journal.
His group took out a full-page ad in last week’s issue of the university’s
student newspaper to tout the scholarship, which was for $50 until two donors
came forward to add $100 each, Mattera said.